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Posts Tagged ‘Sir Thomas Wyatt the Poet’

Last week an Irish Facebook friend and Tudor enthusiast suggested we put more art on Facebook. He asked me to post something about Hans Holbein. I began with Holbein’s famous painting of Henry VIII, but couldn’t resist – I had to share family members painted by the great man.

I’ve noticed some of the people who sat for Holbein seemed somewhat awkward about or uncomfortable with the situation. I am most haunted by our Sir Henry Wyatt.

Sir Henry Wyatt Knight

Sir Henry Wyatt Knight

His painting is oil on oak, only 15.4″ x 12.2.” According to Wikipedia, which does a nice job of documenting the art they share with us, it’s in the Louvre Museum, on the second floor, room 8.

This is the face that endured the application of horse barnacles during torture ordered by Richard III. He was only 23 when imprisoned and locked away until the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. He lived with that face for a long time.

“In the Louvre picture Sir Henry is represented at half-length, slightly turned to the right, wearing a black skull-cap over his long hair, and the customary overcoat with deep fur collar, and green under-sleeves ; from his shoulders hangs a large heavy gold chain, to which a gold cross is attached, which he grasps with his right hand, and holds a folded paper in his left. He is clean-shaven, and has a large rounded nose. The wrinkled face, the small tremulous mouth, and the tired eyes with the sadness of their expression, produce a very life-like effect of old age. The chain is put on with real gold, in a way which Holbein practised from time to time in England.” Hans Holbein the Younger: Volume 1 by Arthur Bensley Chamberlain

Susan Foister, author of Holbein in England, ISBN 1854376454 wrote “the sitter appears to have lost his teeth.”

Experts think it was painted around 1537 – around the same time as his son’s portrait and very near the time of his death. Sir Henry was born in 1460, died at 76 or 77 on 10 November, 1537.

Sir Thomas Wyatt the Poet …

STWLargebyHolbein

He would have been around 34 in 1537. Wikipedia tells us this is “Black and coloured chalks, pen and ink on pink-primed paper, 37.3 × 27.2 cm, Royal Collection, Windsor Castle.” One of my books (Holbein by Jane Roberts) says it was “Black and coloured chalks and ink applied with pen and brush on pink prepared paper 37.1 x 27 cm.” We’re told Holbein also drew a profile portrait.

According to Holbein’s Drawings at Windsor Castle by Phaidon, “On a pale pink priming, 14 11/16 x 10 11/16”: chalks: black, red (face, patch at shoulder on left, another on chest), brown (beard); reinforced with the pen in indian ink (hair, beard). Eyes: grey-blue. Inscribed (gold and scarlet) in left upper corner Tho: Wiatt Knight. The face is considerably stained.”

Phaidon also mentions “Another portrait of Wyatt by Holbein is also lost. From it derive the small circular woodcut which appeared in Leland’s Naeniae in mortem ?Thomae Viati, 1542, and two circular paintings, in reverse to the woodcut, in the Bodleian Library and National Portrait Gallery.” I think this refers to the following image:

STWOilonPanel
According to Wikipedia: “Portrait of Sir Thomas Wyatt. Oil on panel, 31.7 cm diameter, National Portrait Gallery, London. This oil portrait of Wyatt in a medallic profile composition derives from a lost drawing or painting by Hans Holbein the Younger of about 1540. Holbein’s woodcut for Leland’s Naenia presumably follows the original version. Four 16th-century copies by other hands survive, of which this is one of two at the National Portrait Gallery”

So then, what’s this? Wikipedia says “A high-quality copy of this drawing by another hand survives, perhaps from the Elizabethan period (K. T. Parker, The Drawings of Hans Holbein at Windsor Castle, Oxford: Phaidon, 1945.” (I don’t like it.)

Sir Thomas Wyatt by Holbein
Sir Thomas Wyatt was born in 1503 at Allington Castle; he died at a friend’s house, age 38 or 39, on 11 October, 1542.

This is Margaret Wyatt, Lady Lee – Sir Henry’s only daughter, Sir Thomas’ sister, dear friend of Anne Boleyn. Apparently Margaret was also known as Mary, so Wikipedia is confused about “which sister” was Anne’s loyal Lady in Waiting. She looks so different from her father and brother, I wonder if she took after her mother – Anne Skinner.

Lady Margaret Lee Large
Wikipedia dates it at about 1540, tempera on panel, 16.7 × 12.9″ – currently in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Margaret was the mother of Sir Henry Lee, Queen Elizabeth’s champion. (Check it out; I swear I can see some Wyatt in his painting. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_Henry_Lee)

Some think this Holbein may be Elizabeth Brooke, wife of Sir Thomas Wyatt the Poet.

ElizabethbBrooke

According to Holbein’s Drawings at Windsor Castle by Phaidon, “The inscription is certainly incorrect, the features showing no resemblance whatever with the well authenticated drawing of Anne Boleyn in Lord Bradford’s possession… It is possible that there is indirect evidence of the sitter’s identity in the occurrence of various heraldic sketches on the reverse of the drawing, these being the coat-of-arms of the Wyatt family.”

Her brother was George Brooke, 9th Baron of Cobham. Do we see a resemblance? I think so, but it’s hard to say.

GeorgeBrooke9thBaronCobham

Sir Thomas Wyatt’s brother-in-law took part in the trail of Anne Boleyn and got caught up in his son’s rebellion against Queen Mary.

Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger was born in 1521. He was about 15 or 16 when his grandfather died, 20 or 21 when his father died. He was one of the leaders of the rebellion opposing Queen Mary’s desire to marry Philip of Spain. Henry’s grandson was executed at 32 or 33 at Tower Hill on 11 April 1554.

This is a Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger by Holbein. Wikipedia says “Oil on circular panel: Diameter 12 5/8 in. (32 cm.) Painted circa 1540-42.”

STWtheYoungerLargebyHolbein

“Provenance: Presumably commissioned by sitter’s father Sir Thomas Wyatt Senior (1503 – 1542), Thence likely by descent to sitter and dispersed with his property after his execution in 1554; With J. Tremlett Esq. by whom sold; Christie’s, 22 November 1974, lot 152”

Other close friends of Sir Thomas Wyatt the Poet were painted by Holbein, but let us not end this post without adding the Wyatt family’s powerful friend Thomas Cromwell.

Cromwell,Thomas
Painted between 1532 and 1533, oil on oak panel, 30.9 × 25.4″.

According to Wikipedia, “Three early versions of this painting survive: this one, in the Frick Collection, New York; one in the National Portrait Gallery, London (see ‘other versions’ below); and one at Burton Constable, Yorkshire, England. Art scholar Roy Strong believed that all three were copies and, while the condition of all three is poor, that the Frick version is in the best condition. Art scholar John Rowlands, however, has since deduced from pentimenti (signs of alteration) revealed by X-ray photographs that the Frick version shows the hand of Holbein himself and is the original. He is followed in this attribution by art scholar Stephanie Buck. All three versions had scrolls painted above Cromwell’s head, but the scroll on the Frick version, which was painted after Cromwell’s execution, was removed during restoration. The painting has been over-restored, resulting in the removal of much of the surface subtlety characteristic of Holbein.”

Please join us on Facebook, where I regularly post articles of interest:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sir-Thomas-Wyatt-the-Poet/287394704652301

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by Alexander Lloyd Wiatt

    by Alexander Lloyd Wiatt

Our cousin Alexander Lloyd Wiatt has written The Wiatt Family of Virginia, 2nd Edition. It begins with the ancient Wyatts of Yorkshire and Kent and traces his line’s descent from Conquest Wiatt of Gloucester Co. Virginia to present times.

By Alexander Lloyd Wiatt

By Alexander Lloyd Wiatt

The book includes:

Our Coat of Arms
The inscription from the Wiat Memorial in Boxley Parish
The Ancient Wiatt Family tree from the Virginia Historical Magazine
Selected descendants from John Wiatt (1732-1805)

Families histories include:

Julian Wiatt, Miller Wiatt, Newman Wiatt, Turner Wiatt, Baytop, Booth, Carter, Catesby-Cocke, Field, Jones, Rhodes, Sinclair, Stubbs and Todd

The photos and stories are wonderful.

Purchase information:

The Wiatt Family of Virginia, 2nd Edition is not available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc., it’s only available through him. $40 includes shipping, which is expensive.

(This is a heavy, 425-page hard cover book.)

 

To purchase, please send your check to:

Alex Wiatt
15491 Old Spotswood Trail
Elkton, Va 22827
awiatt@picusnet.com

If you prefer to pay online, he has a PayPal account.

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Catherine_Aragon_Henri_VIII_Wikipedia

R.I.P. – 16 December 1485 – 7 January 1536

I will light a candle for this dear lady tonight. She was a descendant of John of Gaunt – as are we.

Most queens were glorified breeders; prince mills. This princess’ parents raised their girl with love and honor. They were the power couple of their time – Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain.

Katherine was Catholic, pious and fully prepared to do all that her new Tudor family asked. She had a terrifying journey from Spain to England – and then Prince Arthur died within months of the wedding. His father the king had promised her parents he would treat her as his own child – but he began to treat her as a bargaining chip.

She didn’t fit in on her own. She wore funny clothes and didn’t know how to dance and laugh. Her fate in that strange new land was in his hands and he wasn’t certain she was the best bride for his spare heir. Best bride, of course, meant whichever alliance would yield the most money and power.

Katherine was on the short list because she had already been shipped in by her parents, Henry wouldn’t have to pay her travel expenses. On the downside, if he found a better bride, he would have to return her dowry.

Yes, he was that cheap.

When her parents’ stars began to fade, he sent her to live “in rags” over the stables with not enough money for food nor funds to pay her servants.

When Henry died of tuberculosis, not many mourned. In Cassell’s Illustrated History of England, William Howitt states: “While his father [Henry VII] had strengthened the throne, he had made himself extremely unpopular. The longer he lived the more the selfish meanness and the avarice of his character had become conspicuous and excited the disgust of his subjects.”

After the king’s death, his mother – Lady Margaret Beaufort – chose counselors for her grandson, including our Henry Wyatt; and Katherine found her first (and last) years of true happiness. Henry VIII was a kind and loving husband for a time; but she was older than Henry. Through all the miscarriages she was only able to produce one living princess – not a prince. Henry could barely conceal his disappointment.

Menopause came early in those days. When it was obvious Katherine could not produce a son, the king set his sights on Anne Boleyn. Note that while Queen Katherine was losing Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn, Sir Thomas was losing Anne Boleyn to his friend Henry VIII. At least our Sir Tom had the good sense to step aside.

He wrote …

Whoso List to Hunt

Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind,
But as for me, hélas, I may no more.
The vain travail hath wearied me so sore,
I am of them that farthest cometh behind.
Yet may I by no means my wearied mind
Draw from the deer, but as she fleeth afore
Fainting I follow. I leave off therefore,
Sithens in a net I seek to hold the wind.
Who list her hunt, I put him out of doubt,
As well as I may spend his time in vain.
And graven with diamonds in letters plain
There is written, her fair neck round about:
Noli me tangere, for Caesar’s I am
,
And wild for to hold, though I seem tame.

Katherine’s days as wife and queen were numbered. Towards the end of 1527 she commanded Wyatt to translate Petrarch’s “remedy of yll ‘fortune’ – or Book II of De remediis utriusque fortunae. It was a massive undertaking that contained 132 dialogues. He completed some of it before deciding to substitute Plutarch’s short essay The Quiet of Mind instead. This would be his holiday gift to the queen.

His signature states that with her encouragement this work might lead “this hande / towarde better enterprises.” He dated it “the last day of Decembre. M.D. XXVII” and presented it to her as a New Year’s gift.

According to Patricia Thomson, author of Sir Thomas Wyatt and His Background, “This was indeed a poignant moment in Catherine’s life, to which both the work she commissioned of Wyatt and the one she got are appropriate.”

Thompson also suggests that “it is quite possible that, coming at this moment, Wyatt’s learned offering marks his swift revulsion of feeling against Anne’s values and in favour of those for which Catherine stood.”

Sir Thomas fell in love with Katherine’s servant, Mistress Elizabeth Darrell. They would be together until his end.

Henry VIII wanted a divorce so he could marry Anne. He hoped Katherine would be compliant – he needed her to be accepting because he feared angering her nephew, Emperor Charles VI. When Katherine stood her ground, Henry viciously destroyed her from within. He prevented her from seeing her only child and sent her to ever distant, colder, damper castles. Katherine wrote her nephew the Emperor:

‘My tribulations are so great, my life so disturbed by the plans daily invented to further the king’s wicked intention, the surprises which the king gives me, with certain persons of his council, are so mortal, and my treatment is what God knows, that it is enough to shorten ten lives, much more mine.’

In May of 1534 Katherine was sent to Kimbolton Castle, where she became a prisoner in the southwest corner. She spent most of her time in prayer and was attended by a few loyal servants – including Lady Darrell; Katherine left her £200 for her marriage, “though none was in prospect.”

(Henry VIII was malicious in preventing Lady Darrell from receiving the funds; she finally received them from Queen Mary after his death.)

“When Catherine’s body was cut open for embalming, the undertakers discovered that her heart had turned black, with a hideous growth on the outside. De la Sa was certain she had been poisoned and the accusation was later used against Anne Boleyn. But no one had access to the queen except for her most faithful ladies. Modern medical historians are certain she died of cancer. Its’ interesting in the light of current ‘new age’ thinking about the relationship between illnesses people get and their emotional condition: Catherine of Aragon died of something very close to a broken heart.” From Karen Lindsey’s Divorced Beheaded Survived; a feminist reinterpretation of the wives of Henry VIII

Henry found Anne Boleyn was more willful than Katherine – and just as unlikely to produce a male heir. I’ve read that Anne thought her life was in danger so long as Katherine was alive; the opposite was probably true. He couldn’t discard her because the emperor would
expect him to take his aunt back.

When Katherine died, Anne was condemned (through treachery) and Henry had already found her replacement. She was waiting in the wings. He nearly slipped the ring on her finger as the French swordsman sliced Anne’s head off her little neck.

Henry arrogantly assumed he was in a favorable position to reopen the lines of communication with the emperor. So guess who he sent as ambassador. Can you imagine calling upon the Holy Roman Emperor on behalf of the monster who killed his aunt?

I can’t.

Please join us on Facebook – Sir Thomas Wyatt the Poet

(This was mostly from memory – and opinion – so please write if you note errors.)

 

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If you have time on your hands …

Imagine Sir Thomas Wyatt – a protestant – negotiating the deadly waters of Catholic England. (How many protestants did Thomas More burn at the stake?)

Imagine Henry VIII sucking up to Rome for years while trying to divorce Catherine of Aragon (whose parents initiated a particularly vicious version of the Inquisition in Spain.)

Imagine the role of the popes in the Inquisition, which was alive and well in Spain while our Sir Thomas Wyatt acted as go-between for Henry VIII and Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.

I read the Six Wives of Henry VIII years before I knew about my family’s descent through Sir Thomas Wyatt the Poet. I skimmed information on the popes. Zzzzzz. “Boring” I thought. Maybe you feel the same. I was christened Catholic before my mom convinced the whole family to become Jehovah’s Witnesses* – but many of my friends were Catholic and they continue to be some of my favorite people on the planet. I assumed “their” popes must have been – must be – good guys.

On a visit to St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, I was too busy absorbing the beauty of Michelangelo’s Pieta to pay attention to centuries of obscene wealth.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piet%C3%A0_(Michelangelo)

Since starting my research on our medieval Wyatts, I started paying more attention to Rome. I began to see why some “heretic” monks attempted to bring Christ’s word back to a purer form; they began to gather in groups (like the Lollards) who lived simply and “cared for the flock” as Jesus had. Of course the popes were outraged; their public could see the shocking difference between true faith and what they were selling. And they did SELL EVERYTHING, from permission for a prince to divorce a good wife or marry a cousin to a violent knight’s guarantee of heaven after death.

I spent time immersing myself in medieval popes and rented Borgia; Faith and Fear from Netflix. (This was a happy accident, as I thought I was getting the glossy Showtime version, The Borgias:
http://www.sho.com/sho/the-borgias/home)

Borgia; Faith and Fear was OUTSTANDING. Produced in Europe, it contains a surprising level of sex and violence; but it’s spellbinding and the director’s choice of actors is outstanding.

You can watch it on demand, or get the DVDs. (Keep the kids out of the room!) This link has a plot summary –
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1736341/plotsummary

Enjoy. Who knew history could be so interesting?

*I left Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1974.

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A SIGNIFICANT RESTORATION
By Agnes Conway, daughter of Sir Martin Conway.
From House Beautiful, August 1929

(Exactly as written except I have added paragraphs; I find great chunks of content oppressive. Forgive any typos, it’s a lot of typing!)

[Learn about Sir Conway here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Conway,_1st_Baron_Conway_of_Allington ]

On May 15, 1905, Sir Martin Conway inserted the following advertisement in the Times – ‘Wanted: To purchase old manor house or abbey, built in the sixteenth century or earlier, with old garden, not much land, no sporting facilities, preferably five miles or more from a railway station.’

Two replies were received – one about a stuccoed castellated mansion, suitable for a hotel or hydro; the other from Allington Castle on the River Medway, not far from Maidstone, in which we were picnicking after the purchase, six weeks from that date. Fortunately it was summer, for the castle was open to the sky, with the exception of the rooms in the gabled Elizabethan building which was the home of innumerable rats, who ran about inside the walls all day and night.

The age of the building exceeded our demands; for that a real medieval castle should be for sale, thirty-five miles from London, had never even entered our minds. This one contained remains of three successive castles and two manor houses – the earliest a moated mound raised at the time of the Conquest, and once crowned by a wooden fort, of which the mound and the moat are still extant.

Figure 2, The Moat Wall

The second, a stone castle, built toward the end of the eleventh century and pulled down in 1170 at a cost of sixty shillings by orders of the King, after a general rising of the barons. Of this castle, a gigantic fireplace, large enough to roast an ox, and the foundations of several rooms, marked out by us in cement in the inner courtyard, remain. The twelfth-century wall, surrounding the moat, is intact, and forms the background to our herbaceous border. (Figure 2).

For the next one hundred and twelve years, during which period no one took out a license to crenelate the building, Allington was merely a manor house, in the possession of the Norman family of Longchamp, relatives of the regent whom Richard I left to govern England when he went on crusade. But in 1279, Stephen of Penchester, Warden of the Cinque Ports, who owned Penshurst Place in Kent, afterward the home of Sir Philip Sidney, bought Allington and obtained a license to turn it into a castle again.

He put the battlements (restored in 1909) on the Longchamp gatehouse (Figure 4) and on the west wing (Figure 1) – also of the Longchamp period in the lower story – and built Solomon’s Tower (Figure 3) at the end of the block. This was the main tower of the castle; and the room on the first floor, with two arrow shoots, a window, two doors and a fireplace of his date, is my bedroom to-day. (Figure 6) All it needed was a roof and a floor.

The West Wing

Figure 1, The West Wing

Figure 3, Solomon's Tower

The Tower Bedroom

He built with Kentish rag, like his predecessors, but imported Caen stone from Normandy for the windows and doors.

The top of Solomon’s Tower, as restored by us, and the courtyard aspect of the west wing are seen in Figure 5.

Figure 5, the Outer Courtyard

Stephen was the best of the many builders of Allington, and his mortar is still as hard as a rock. But in two hundred and fifty years fashions changed; and when Allington was bought in 1507 by Sir Henry Wyatt, the father of Sir Thomas Wyatt, the poet, certain alterations were made.

The buildings had hitherto enclosed one large courtyard; but Wyatt, in the manner of his time, built a Long Gallery across it from the Penchester porch (Figure 5), dividing it into two almost equal-sized courtyards. Wyatt’s arch leading to the inner courtyard is also seen in Figure 5. He introduced larger windows throughout the building, as in the room over the entrance arch (Figure 4), and his son decorated it so sumptuously that it was famed as a splendid house in his day.

Here Sir Henry Wyatt entertained Henry VIII, whose dinner was served through the door and kitchen hatch found by us bricked up in the wine cellar. But the Wyatt reign at Allington was only of forty-six years; for the younger Sir Thomas lost his head and property in a rebellion against the Spanish marriage of Queen Mary in 1553 and Allington was never again a residence of consequence.

An Elizabethan gabled story was added all the way round the courtyard when the castle was turned into a farmhouse about the year 1600, and many drawings and water colors by Turner and others exist of it in that condition.

In 1840 the gables along the length of the west wing were pulled down, the beams of the floors taken out and sold, the paneling destroyed, and the bulk left in the state in which it was found by us.

The opposite side of the inner courtyard continued in existence as a farmhouse and then as laborers’ cottages, becoming even more and more derelict, till it sheltered us when we were planning our restoration.

The first thing we had to do was to rebuild Wyatt’s Long Gallery, which had burned down in 1820, and thereby gain access from the Elizabethan house to the ruined west wing without going out of doors or through the domestic quarters on the ground floor. This room is frankly modern, and has served us ever since as the general living-room. That completed, we could turn out attention to the west wing, a gutted shell with thirteenth century doors and windows intact. Here we had to strip the ivy, which, six feet thick in places, concealed every stone of the walls.

With the roof gone, we were at liberty to reconstruct the battlements built by Stephen of Penchester. This entailed rebuilding the top eight feet of wall, which had been cut away in places for the low gables; yet sufficient data remained to reerect them exactly as they had been in 1282 (Figure 1).

We then dug away the soil of ages, which hid the bottom eight feet of the west wall on the moat side, and leveled a grass terrace to the water, which still surrounded the castle on three sides. The fourth side had of course to be reconstructed. This building gave us a long drawing-room on the ground floor and a suite of bedrooms above.

We continued our work with the battlements and machicolations of the gatehouse, and made the room over the entrance arch into a library. The other two sides of the outer courtyard, which had at one time been injured by fire, were temporarily left a ruin.

Solomon’s Tower was intact, save for a giant bite out of the top story, and this was next repaired (Figure 3). We then had a habitable house, drained, lit by electricity, and centrally heated., with a bathroom attached to each important bedroom – sufficient for our needs and finished before the Great War.

The experience gained on this straightforward piece of restoration is now being utilized to rebuild the twelfth-century banqueting hall, a work of considerable difficulty. But excavation of the two sides, of which nothing remained above ground, has revealed the bottom of a fireplace with its stone fender, the base and mouldings of the chief door, and the tiles of the pavement. The remaining two sides are intact, so that the restoration which is proceeding now will be correct in every detail.

The tower behind the Hall, which contained the principal bedroom, slept in by Henry VIII, whose chair descended with the castle, has been roofed since the war, though not yet made fit for habitation. The chapel adjacent to the gatehouse and the solar still remain in ruins.

Although there is still much to be done, it is now just conceivable that we may live long enough to finish the building. The interior decoration has not proceeded far. Unfortunately our collection of Italian old masters does not look well upon stone walls, and we are gradually paneling and painting some rooms and hanging others with Persian rugs and woven country clothes of the Stone Age, still being made in Sierra Leone. Those, in lieu of tapestry, look better than anything else on the walls (see bed in Figure 6). A copy of a fifteenth-century tapestry being made for me for the Great Hall will take at least ten years to complete.

Many of the rooms are paved with copies of thirteenth-century tiles (Figure 6) and have been designed to be roofed with replicas designed to be roofed with replicas of sixteenth-century plaster ceilings. One such has just been introduced into the hall of a neighboring castle with great effect. The furniture is largely of Jacobean oak. But before the war, or even now, decoration is subordinated to actual structural progress and to the rescue of the grounds from the tar-paving factory, the railway cutting, the cluster of ugly oast [sic] houses, and the public right of way that used to cut the property in half.

Thousands of tons of earth went into the railway cutting; by degrees a green meadow by the river took the place of the factory, and a new road was cut out through the wood to lead to the castle.

Not till after the war could any progress be made with the garden. But moss on the inside of the courtyard walls took the place of ivy; and the farmhouse vines, which used to yield eighty gallons of so-called champagne a year, were left to ramp over the ruined walls of the banqueting hall. The outside of the castle was purposely left severe and flowerless; the inner banks of the moat were turfed and mown, and only the outer ones were allowed to bloom with thousands of daffodils, and to grow hay, a mass of marguerites in between (Figure 1).

Between the eastern side of the castle and the twelfth-century wall, which bounds the moat, is about an acre of enclosed lawn, approached by a thirteenth-century door at the back of the banqueting hall.

Against the moat wall, stretching from a round twelfth-century pigeon house (Figure 2) to the back bridge behind Solomon’s Tower (Figure 3), a long herbaceous border has been made. By degrees the fields in which lie a Roman villa, the eleventh-century moated mound, the second twelfth-century pigeon house, and the fifteenth-century barns, are taking their place in a garden scheme, and a yew garden planted after the Armistice can now be trimmed into walls of a respectable height.

Much remains to be done; but on summer days when the roses are out and sympathetic friends spur us on, we sometimes think we may live long enough, after all, to complete our task. But nothing can deprive us of the fun we have had: digging out the history of the building from the ground and that of its owners from the Public Record Offices; planning the alterations and discussing the alternatives; utilizing every opportunity of travel to pick up adjuncts such as the statuette of Saint Martin over the Long Gallery door; breeding swans and peacocks, and draining the moat for treasures which we never find.

Tradition has it that when the golden pig is dug up at Allington, the finder will swiftly vanish away. May that be the end of us all!

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Updated 5/29/12

This should be a convenient starting-place for “cousins” who are just starting to pull their trees together.

Adam Wyatt
Born 1320 in Yorkshire, England
Died 1385 in Yorkshire, England
Married Agnes Wigton
Born 1330 in Norwoods, London, England
Died 1385 in Southange, Yorkshire, England

Son William Wyatt
Born 1350 in Southange, Yorkshire, England
Died 1388 in Southange, Yorkshire, England
Second wife Jane Bailiffe
Born 1355
Died 1372

Son Robert Wyatt
Born 1372 in Southange, Yorkshire, England
Died 1440 in Southange, Yorkshire, England
Married Jane Skipwith
Born 1395 in South Haigh Mexborough, Yorkshire, England

Son Geoffrey Wyatt
Born 1410 in Southange, Yorkshire, England
Died 1460 in Southhenge, Surrey, England
Married Anne Skipwith – a cousin (?)
Born 1411 in Mexborough, Yorkshire, England
Died 1443 in Bisley, Gloucestershire, England

Son Richard Wyatt, Sheriff 
Born 1428 in South Haigh Mexborough, Yorkshire, England
Died 1478 in Kent, England – not at Allington, the Wyatts didn’t own it yet
Married Lady Margaret Jane Bailiffe or Clarke
Born 1438 in Yorkshire, England
Died 1460 in Boxley, Kent, England

Sir Henry Wyatt
Loyally served Henry VII, helped Henry VIII get the ball rolling.
Born 1460 in Boxley, Kent, England
Died March 10, 1537 in Boxley, Kent, England
Married Lady Anne Skinner
Born 1475 in Ryegate, Sussex, England
Died 1503 in Boxley, Kent, England

Sir Thomas Wyatt the Poet, a.k.a. Sir Thomas Wyatt the Elder
Friend of /diplomat and ambassador for Henry VIII.
Born 1503 in Allington, Kent, England
Henry VIII had him deliver the Imperial Ambassador to London and he got sick from the heat and died at 39 years of age on 11 October 1542.
Married Elizabeth Brooke
The unhappy marriage did not last long.
She was born 1503 in Cobhamhall, Kent, England
After Sir Thomas’ death, Elizabeth remarried Sir Edward Warner, Lord Lieutenant of the Tower. When she died 10 October 1542, she was buried on Tower grounds.

(Interesting: After Henry VIII elbowed our Sir Tom out of Anne Boleyn’s circle, he took Elizabeth Darrell as his mistress. She was one of Katherine of Aragon’s few trusted servants. Katherine left money for Elizabeth’s eventual marriage, but that didn’t happen until both Sir Thomases were deceased. She had three children by Sir Thomas Wyatt the Poet and/or Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger. Potentially tawdry, I know. After Wyatt’s Rebellion one of her sons was executed with his father or half-brother – depending on what you choose to believe.)

Sir Thomas Wyatt the Elder’s son by his wife, Elizabeth Brooke –

Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger
One of the leaders of “Wyatt’s Rebellion” against Queen Mary Tudor
Born 1521 in Allington Castle
Died a traitor’s death 11 April 1554 for his role in the rebellion against Queen Mary (Wyatt’s Rebellion)
Married Lady Jane Hawte or Haute
Born 1522 in Bishopsbourne and Wavering, Kent, England
Died 1600 in Boxley, Kent, England

Sir George Wyatt
First biographer of Anne Boleyn, still quoted.
(See footnotes for Allison Weir’s The Six Wives of Henry VIII.)
Born 1550 in Kent, England
Died 1625
Married Lady Jane Finch 8 Oct 1582, Caswell, Kent, England
She was born 1555 in Eastwell, Kent, England, Great Britain
Died at the age of 89 in Allington Castle, Kent, England, Great Britain
Buried 27 March 1644 in Boxley, Kent, England, Great Britain

Reverend Hawte Wyatt
Born  4 Jun 1594 in Maidstone, Kent, England
Died 31 Jul 1638 in Maidstone, Kent, England
Married Anne Cocke or Cox
Born 1607 in Maidstone Co., London, Kent, England
Died 29 Feb 1632 in Boxley Abbey, Kent, England

Captain John Wyatt
(First of four sequential John Wyatts)
Born 1630 in Boxley, Kent, England
Died 1666 in Gloucester, Gloucester, Virginia, United States
Married Jane Osborne
Born 1622 in Boxley, Kent, England
Died 1665 in Gloucester, Virginia, USA.

John Wyatt
(Second of four sequential John Wyatts)
Born 1663 in Boxley, Kent Co., England
Died 1684 in Gloucestor, Carolina, Virginia, United States
Married Anne Jones
Born 1663 in Lancaster, Virginia, United States
Died date unknown, Rappahannock, Virginia, United States

Captain John Wyatt
(Third of four sequential John Wyatts)
Born 1684 in Gloucestor, Carolina, Virginia, USA
Died November 1750 in Plaindealing, Caroline, Virginia, USA
Married Jane Pamplin
Born 1690 in Rickling, Essex, England
Died 1750 in Caroline, Virginia, USA

John Wyatt
(Fourth of four sequential John Wyatts)
Born 1731 in St George Parish, Caroline, Virginia, United States
Died 1 Mar 1785 in Gloucestor, Carolina, Virginia, United States
Married Elizabeth Ballard Smith
Born 19 Apr 1740 in Louisa, Virginia, United States
Died 13 Aug 1766 in Orange, Virginia, United States

Henry Wyatt
Born 1753 in Drysdale Parish, King Queen, Virginia, USA
Died 27 Dec 1823 in Pendleton, Kentucky, USA
Married Elizabeth Redd
Born 1759-10-05 in Spotsylvania, Virginia, USA
Died 1840 in Pendleton, Kentucky, USA

James R. Wyatt
Born 1792 in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, USA
Died 1840 in Pendleton, Kentucky, USA
Married Rachel Rice
Born 1797 in Virginia, USA
Died 1860 (after)

Daughter Sarah Jane Wyatt
Born 1823
Died 1915
Husband William T. Clayton
Born about 1823 in Nicholas Co., KY
Died 15 Jan 1863 in Civil War

James C. Clayton
Born 24 Aug 1859 in Pendleton Co., KY
Died after 1900 in Harrison Co., KY
Married Roselle E. (Rosa) Simpson
Born May 1869 in Harrison Co., KY
Died AFT 1900 in Harrison Co., KY

Annie Mariah Clayton
Born Apr 1891 in Harrison Co., KY
Died September 6, 1954
Husband Jesse T Bolen
Born May 1887 in Indiana
Left his wife and son, moved to Oregon & started a new family
Died 1946, buried in Crescent Grove Cemetery, Tigard, Oregon

Edwin Harold Bolen – my grandfather.
Born 23 October 1909 in Springfield, Ohio
Died 14 October 1974 in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
Married Edla Sophia Wuolle – my grandmother

Dates rarely match in these old records. If you see glaring errors, please let me know!

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Thomas Cromwell

Image from Wikipedia

He died 471 years ago this week.

Thomas Cromwell, Lord Great Chamberlain, Chief Minister of Henry VIII, Earl of Essex – he was feared, hated and envied. Like his predecessor Wolsey, he was a smart, ambitious man from humble beginnings.

He helped Henry rid himself of Catherine of Aragon so he could marry Anne Boleyn. He was a passionate advocate for the Reformation.  He provided most of the financial backing to make the Bible available in English.

In his precious free time he invited creative and spiritually inclined people to his home for long discussions.

Most important to descendants, he was a dear friend of our Sir Thomas Wyatt the Poet.

When Sir Thomas was imprisoned in the Tower during Anne Boleyn’s last days, it was Thomas Cromwell who assured his aging father he would be OK.

On May 5, 1536 Sir Tom was imprisoned in the tower. On May 11, Cromwell assured his father Sir Henry Wyatt that he would be released without charges. Unfortunately, Tom witnessed Anne’s beheading on May 19 – his sister there with her on the scaffold. He wrote wrote “enemies surround my soul.” He was released, as Cromwell promised, June 14.

Cromwell continued watching out for Tom’s welfare as long as he lived. When the king sent Tom away from home, he paid small debts and resolved household problems on his behalf. Like he didn’t have bigger fish to fry:-)

Cromwell’s downfall came when he encouraged Henry to marry Anne of Cleves; his reasons were political – he felt a German alliance would strengthen England.  A painting of Anne was commissioned and – like match.com – the image was far from reality.  Henry committed to wed a woman he had never seen.

Henry met Anne on new year’s day 1540; he couldn’t stand the way she looked or smelled. I imagine she felt the same. She was a virgin who didn’t understand where babies came from. He was a fat, wife-killing lech whose leg reeked from a chronic oozing infection.

Henry was very vocal about his displeasure. He said her breasts and belly felt soft and old; he couldn’t “perform”.  He was quick to point out the problem was not his – it was hers. She did not inspire his lust. Their marriage was never consummated and he started warning people if this continued, they could not expect he would father more heirs to the throne.

Henry blamed Cromwell; he became verbally and physically abusive, literally smacking his Chief Minister around.

On June 10, 1540, during a council dinner in Westminster Palace,  the Duke of Norfolk (Sir Tom’s godfather ) arrested Cromwell . “My Lord of Essex, I arrest you of high treason.”  The duke tore off the St George medal he wore around his neck and Lord Admiral Fitzwilliam (formerly his friend) snatched at the Order of the Garter.

Cromwell was furious. He responded “This, then, is my guerdon [reward] for the service that I have done. On your consciences I ask you, am I a traitor? I may have offended, but never with my will. Such faults as I have committed deserve grace and pardon; but if the King, my master, believes so ill of me, let him make quick work and not leave me to languish in prison.”

During his time in the tower Cromwell was ordered to give Henry everything he needed to annul his marriage to Anne of Cleves; this was accomplished on July 12.

It strikes me as tragic that Henry killed Cromwell for pairing him with a woman who became one of his few true and loving friends. Based on what I’ve read to date, she may have been his only friend.  Of course – knowing how he had disposed of Anne Boleyn, she had to be grateful to keep her head. She was glad to stay in England, where she had friends and freedom. Henry was generous with her, gave her homes (including the Boleyn’s Hever Castle) and visited often. There were rumors of a romance.

Henry had Cromwell executed July 28.  The king had a nasty habit of mixing endings with beginnings. That same day he left to marry Catherine Howard, the “firm” young bimp who would make a total fool of him. Of course she lost her head in the bargain.

Before the axe fell on Cromwell’s neck he prayed “Grant me, merciful Saviour, that when death hath shut up the eyes of my body, yet the eyes of my soul may still behold and look upon Thee, and when death hath taken away the use of my tongue, yet my heart may cry and say unto Thee, Lord into Thy hands I commend my soul, Lord Jesus receive my spirit, Amen.”

Remember how Anne Boleyn had a French swordsman who came in to assure her end would be swift? Cromwell was not nearly as fortunate, his execution was performed by an inept butcher. The Tudors series doesn’t hold true to the facts, but their fiction is interesting and their visuals powerful:

“In July 1540 there was much rejoicing at Cromwell’s fall, for he was generally regarded as a tyrant and a destructive force. Few friends dared to speak up for his reputation openly and his constructive work went unrecognized until long afterwards. Yet one contemporary who knew his worth set down his feelings in the jewel of a sonnet. ‘Gentle Master Wyatt’, as Cromwell had so often written to him on public affairs during his service on diplomatic missions, in 1540 at last returned to his native Kent, where he was to enjoy barely two years of retirement before he died.”(Sir Tom died in service to Henry VIII, so this source is incorrect or the king may have called him out of retirement for a special assignment.)This was Sir Tom’s sonnet for Cromwell:

“The pillar perish’d is whereto I leant;
The strongest stay of mine unquiet mind:
The like of it, no man again can find,
From east to west still seeking though he went.
To mine unhap; for hap away hath rent
Of all my join the very bark and rind;
And I, alas! by chance am thus assign’d
Dearly to mourn, till death do it relent.
But since that thus it is by destiny,
What can I more but have a woeful heart;
My pen in plaint, my voice in woeful cry,
My mind in woe, my body full of smart,
And I myself, myself always to hate;
Till dreadful death do ease my doleful state.”

According to The Cardinal and the Secretary, “His [Cromwell’s] fall had made it easier to justify to the courts of Europe his parting from Anne of Cleves, but by the time Catherine Howard had gone to the executioner he had come to realize that Cromwell had been unnecessarily sacrificed.”Henry became his own Chief Minister. “After Wolsey’s fall he had found that he needed Cromwell’s service, but after Cromwell’s disgrace no one of the same calibre offered himself. Indeed the problems were far less pressing now that Cromwell had made him master in his own house.””Seeing in the new men about him no hint of statesmanlike qualities .. the King came to conclude that Cromwell had been condemned ‘on light pretexts’.”

Henry was unable to find any man in his court who measured up to Cromwell and later referred to him as ‘the best servant he ever had’.”

R.I.P. Thomas Cromwell; you are remembered.

(Quotes and sonnet from The Cardinal & the Secretary by Neville Williams.)

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